Scientists of Spain’s University of Barcelona are reporting a precise new way for wineries – and their customers – to predict how long their sparkling wines will last. The study appears in the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
 
In “Kinetics of Browning, Phenolics, and 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural in Commercial Sparkling Wines,” they tested levels of this browning compound in several bottles stored over two years at different temperatures: room, cellar (61 degrees Fahrenheit) and refrigerator (39 degrees Fahrenheit). Their study found that 5-HMF is a good indicator of freshness, and also that refrigerating sparkling wines almost completely prevented browning. To make their results more practical for wineries, the researchers came up with a mathematical model that predicts how long products will stay drinkable at varying storage temperatures.